FRODO: Remind me again why we're doing this?
THIA: To cheer up Adrienne. And as a warm-up.
FRODO: ...as a warm-up. Does that mean what I think it means?
SAM: Excuse me, ma'am, but are you saying there's more waiting?
[THIA and KRISTEN exchange looks. That's enough for the hobbits: they duck and run. Unfortunately, the doors slam closed, a la Saruman, before they get to them, and the fanfic starts.]
For the Love of a Dream
THIA: Ding! Points deducted for use of the word 'dream' in the title.
THIA:...no smart-ass comments at this time. At least, I think that's the name of a Greek demi-goddess, but I don't recall of what. Kristen?
FRODO: If it's blank, does that mean she hasn't written anything else?
THIA: Speaking of which, where is Merry?
Warnings: No Happy Ending
SAM: Says who? If it doesn't end with me lying with Master Merry, that's a very happy ending indeed.
[Cheers from all assembled.]
Summary: Merry confesses a longstanding crush
FRODO: I thought Pippin knew.
Disclaimer: *Bows down at the shrine of J-double-R* Please do not smite me down with a thunderbolt out of the west for borrowing your characters! I promise I will give them back, and none the worse for the wear!
THIA: For very loose definitions of 'none the worse.'
The only profit I glean from them is mindcandy.
KRISTEN: ...of the sort you shouldn't accept from strangers. Or relatives. Or anyone.
Feedback: oh, please, please!
THIA: If you insist, dear. But don't say we didn't warn you.
SAM: At least that was quickly over wi--
THIA: There are entirely too many places I could take that.
Category: Hobbit angst, NHE
LEGOLAS: The hobbits get their own angst category?
Summary: Merry confesses a longstanding crush Why, dear God, why?
SAM: Just what I was wondering.
Because I said so.
KRISTEN: Not good enough, dear. Where's that smiting?
And, nobody ever writes about Merry.
Hes the quiet type gotta wonder what-alls going on in there.
FRODO: Merry? Quiet?
[Another general cheer.]
Disclaimer: *Bows down at the shrine of J-double-R* Please do not smite me down with a thunderbolt out of the west for borrowing your characters!
KRISTEN: Ha, but she said nothing about high-voltage cattle prods out of the East.
I promise I will give them back, and none the worse for the wear! The only profit I glean from them is mindcandy.
THIA: Oh, sure, I've heard that before.
Archiving: Yeah, whatever. Just let me know.
THIA: You can tell she cares so much.
Feedback: Oh, please!
KRISTEN: (as Isildur) No.
KRISTEN: (makes note for smiting purposes)
Note: According to the chronology in appendix B, I kinda fudged dates by about a week, I know, but in the text, the meeting with the elves and the passage into the west really seems to happen all at once so Im going to pretend that it does.
[SAM mutters things under his breath about liking her to endure a week like that, some day.]
FRODO: What's this?
Sam had seemed genuinely glad to see him, and that lifted Merrys heart a bit.
KRISTEN: But not, apparently, the apostrophes into place.
It had been years since hed been to Hobbiton, having been far too occupied with his duties up in Buckland to keep a good eye on his friend.
FRODO: Not to mention with tupping Pippin, which was a full-time job all in itself.
Hed missed good old Sam. A lot.
THIA: Does anyone else hear the ominous music?
Evenings by the fire with a mug of beer reliving old times, making plans for new.
SAM: Don't believe I had any old times with Mr. Merry. Except the War of the Ring, and those aren't the sort of times I'd care to relive.
He had been so afraid that Sam would shrivel up inside, withdraw from the world and leave them before his time as Frodo had done.
THIA: And since he knew so much about what Frodo had been through...
It was long since hed had any hope,
KRISTEN: And even longer since he'd quoted Faramir.
but he felt that he had to hold on to what he could of Sam for as long as possible.
THIA: Despite the fact that Sam kicked and screamed and demanded his liver back.
Sam had seemed glad, but that was three days ago now and the shadows had been growing on his brow ever since.
THIA: Get out the weed-whacker.
Rosie had taken the younger children to visit Elanor and Fastred over in Westmarch and he and Sam had spent two days now in the empty halls of Bag-end, staring at each other across the growing silence.
FRODO: ...previously known as 'the dining room table.'
Merry didnt think he could take much more of this.
SAM, muttered: Neither can I.
Sams drawn expression and increasing pallor called to him to take Sam in his arms and brush all the lines of care away.
FRODO: Sam himself seemed a bit perturbed by his talkative attributes, but that was a minor thing.
But he knew he wouldnt do it.
SAM: Thank Eru.
That night they sat as they were wont to do in soft chairs before the fire, ale in hand, and Merry watched the firelight dance off of Sams profile in a hypnotic rhythm.
[KRISTEN starts humming belly-dancing music]
Sam stared into the fire. He didnt move.
KRISTEN: Oh, no, wait, my mistake. It really was hypnotic.
Merry watched him intently.
GIMLI: Because he really had nothing better to do.
All of a sudden, Sam spoke.
SAM, stubbornly: Sleep-talking.
"Its his birthday, you know."
GIMLI: Whose birthday?
"Yeah, I know."
THIA: Thus proving that Merry is capable of looking at a calendar every so often. Aren't we proud of him?
"Fifty years ago today, Bilbo took off and left him the ring; thirty three years since we went east; thirty two since we returned, and" he paused a long moment. "thirty years to the minute since he went west."
FRODO, counting on his fingers: Wait a minute, is that accurate?
Sam sighed raggedly and took a long draught of his beer.
THIA:...hopefully not at the exact same time.
Something of the despair in that sigh, something which matched his own grief for things that never were, emboldened Merrys heart.
KRISTEN: Not to mention other bits of him.
"I never would have left you."
SAM: Ballocks. You're the Master of Buckland, with an obligation to your family.
The silence was deafening as Sam registered the import of these words.
SAM, as himself: "Mr. Merry's drunk too much again."
"Mer" Merry cut him off.
GIMLI: Sounds like the author's had a bit much herself. Or else just has a stammer.
"I never would have left you." Said Merry, quite evenly. "Not for the pain of any wound, not for the hope of any peace. Did he know? Could he have known? And if he did, did he care? Was he still capable of that at the end?"
FRODO, through his teeth: Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
Sams mouth hung open and the tears of many years of frustration and rage burned in Merrys eyes.
GIMLI: Rage at whom?
"Youre pining away for a ghost!
LEGOLAS: No, that's a different story still.
You do realize that, dont you?
The love of a dream!
KRISTEN: So you're implying...what, exactly? That Sam never had a chance with Frodo?
Open your eyes to the real world! Waking life has always been within your reach, but you sit dazzled and blinded by hopeless reveries! Open your eyes to life, Sam!"
SAM: Is this where I point out that I was married, had plenty of work, and wasn't hardly sitting still?
With this, Merry went to Sam and kissed him hungrily.
[Absolutely no one is paying attention to the story. SAM and GIMLI are staring at their respective lovers: GIMLI looks like he's about to stand up and sweep LEGOLAS off his feet, and SAM has a death grip on his seat as if to keep himself from doing just that. THIA and KRISTEN don't know where to look.]
Every ounce of Merrys pent up passion poured through this kiss, washing in great waves over Sam.
KRISTEN, eyes drifting to the screen for a minute: Um, guys? Story?
With this, Merry went to Sam and kissed him hungrily. Every ounce of Merrys pent up passion poured through this kiss, washing in great waves over Sam.
FRODO: How many ounces does it take to make a wave?
Sam was stunned a moment, barely comprehending what was happening.
SAM, finally looking away from FRODO: You have that right.
Then he found himself responding to the kiss, his lips melted in to it, his breath came up short and he raised a hand to Merrys chest.
THIA, as Sam: 'I'm melting, I'm melting!'
In a flash of images, memories true and imagined, his mind went dark and brusquely he pushed Merry away.
KRISTEN: As opposed to pushing Merry away politely, of course.
"I cant do this." He said.
KRISTEN, as Sam: Well, actually I can. I just don't want to.
"Why not? For him?
SAM: Does this Merry even remember I'm married?
Hes gone, Sam. He was never really there.
SAM, squeezing FRODO on his lap: Could've fooled me.
Not for you, not for any of us. He was an instrument of the powers that be and that is all."
FRODO: She's not only forgotten your Rosie, I think she forgot that I wasn't some raw tweenager without any personality to call my own.
"For him, for his memory, for Rosie, for the children I just cant do this."
KRISTEN: Thank you. I wondered when Rosie would make an appearance again.
Merry bit back his anger, his disappointment, his tears.
THIA: Oh, cry me a river. You knew he was married when you got here. Now go tup Pippin like a good Merry.
His arms dropped to his sides and he sighed.
SAM: Where were his arms before now?
"I think I should go."
SAM: Best idea I've heard all story.
"I think you should." Said Sam quietly.
KRISTEN: Wait, this is new -- we've got Random Capitalization!
"I dont want you to fade away, Sam. There is still life for you in this world."
[SAM mutters something, not quite indecipherable, that seems to translate to thirteen children.]
Sam said nothing, but stared into the dying embers of the fire.
KRISTEN: And we're right back to the hypnotic fire again.
Merry gathered his cloak and went to the door. He turned on the threshold as if to say something more, but no words came. He nodded absently and, turning, walked out into the misty night.
SAM, perking up: Is that it? Are we done?
FRODO: Good. Let's go. [He starts to get up, tugging SAM along by the, er, wrist. He still isn't wearing his shirt.]
[FRODO, with a groan: Oh, no. [He sits down again on SAM's lap, and wriggles a bit as if to make himself comfortable. SAM's eyes glaze over.]
I would like to acknowledge the Magnificent Anne Ellis whose "And I wouldn't have left you to cry over it all alone."
THIA: Now, see, that actually sounds like something worth reading. Anyone know what story it's from?
I shamelessly stole and corrupted to my own nefarious hobbit-fancying purposes when it attacked me in plot-bunny form.
KRISTEN: You mean plot-bunnies aren't already corrupt?
(Its got teeth about it can leap about LOOK AT THE BONES!)
KRISTEN: Obligatory Monty Python reference, yes.
If you still exist in fanfic-land, Anne, you are beyond fabulous and should write more. The End.
KRISTEN: 'But if you 'inspirt' any more stories like this one, we'll have to hunt you down and hogtie you. Thank you.'
KRISTEN: I think that means we're actually done, guys...guys? Oh, dear. Legolas, Gimli, your room is that way, please wait for the cameras to start rolling. Thia...um, I'll be right back with cold water and a notebook. And popcorn.
 Reference is to ‘Never More Than Dreaming’, which is quite a good story despite having ‘dreaming’ in the title.
– end –
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